It was early morning in March, l965, As pastor of St.
Stephan’s UCC, Newark, NJ, I answered a phone call from the United Church Board
for Homeland Ministries. Joe Merchant, head of Urban Ministries, had heard from
the Rev. Andrew Young, a UCC clergyperson and a colleague of the
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. A major march was being planned from Selma to
Montgomery, Alabama, to arrive on March 25. The purpose: support voting
rights. Joe was asking for my help gathering UCC and other clergy and lay
leaders from Newark, NJ, to join Martin Luther King and the Southern Christian
Leadership Conference on the march. A week or so later, a chartered plane
carried the NJ delegation to Montgomery, transferred us to a bus for Selma
where we joined the march. Sleeping at the side of the road, eating food
offered by area residents, wearing out shoe leather, we marched. read more...